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tv   2000 Bush Gore Town Hall  CSPAN  October 14, 2012 1:15am-3:05am EDT

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be out of a job, wouldn't they, if we suddenly just went to 10%? >> one of the things that the university of texas does monitor is the racial climate on campus. it does that to improve the experience of all students on campus. >> how many? >> i don't have the number, your honor. it is important to improving the racial climate on campus for all students, no matter what their race. >> thank you, counsel. >> thank you. >> mr. chief justice and as it please the court, it is important to focus on what is and more importantly, what is not the issue. the petitioner is not challenging rutter or justice powell's decision that student body is a compelling interest that can justify race in
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admissions. colleges and universities across the country have relied on that principle in shaping their ad migs policies, and it is vital to the united states that they be able to continue to do so. the core is that these nations produce graduates that will be effective citizens and effective leaders in an increasingly diverse society and effective competitors in diverse global markets. >> does the united states agree that mr. -- that politicants deserve a -- that applicants deserve a different process? >> the top 10% plan certainly does produce some ethnic diversity. significant numbers get in. the problem is, the university can't control that adiversity in the same way it can with respect to the 25% of the class
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submitted through a ho lifment st -- holistic process. my understanding is that they would not like -- that they would like to look for students that further the educational mission. for example, they will look for admissions that play against racial stereotypes just by what they bring. the african-american fencer. the hispanic who has mastered classical greek. they can also look for people with a demonstrated track record. >> if you have two applicants absolutely the same in every respect, they both come from affluent back grounds, well educated parents, one falls within two of the groups that are given a preference, the other doesn't, it is a marginal case. the last position available in the class. under the texas plan, one gets in, one doesn't get in. do you agree with that or not? >> no.
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>> you agree that's an incorrect statement of the facts or you agree that that's an incorrect understanding of the equal protection clause? >> i think it is both. there is no automatic preference in texas. i think this is -- it is page 398-a of the joint appendix. they describe the process saying an applicant's race is considered only to the view that the applicant's race will contribute to the broader view -- >> but the two applicants are entirely the same in all respects. if the ability to gives a racial preference means anything at all, it certainly must mean in the hypothetical given that the minority student gets in and the other doesn't? >> i disagree, justice scalia. what texas has made clear, and i think this is a common feature of these kinds of approaches, that not everyone in an
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under-represented group gets a preference, gets a plus factor. it is not a matter of not everyone, it is a matter of two identical in all other respects. what does the racial preference mean if it doesn't mean in that situation the minority politicant -- applicant wins and the other loses? >> it will spend depend on a holistic consideration of the applicant. >> i don't understand the argument. i thought the whole point is that race sometimes has to be a tie-breaker. you say it isn't. well then we should not use race. >> i think it functions more sutly than that. >> it doesn't function more subtley in every case. according to appendix page 33 the district court found that race is indisputably a factor that can make a difference in the evaluation of a student's an indication.
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if it -- an indication -- application. the supposition has to be that race is a determining factor. unless it is a determining factor in some cases, they are using race when it doesn't serve the purpose at all. >> it can make a difference, it just does not always make a difference. >> you have to agree that it makes a difference in some cases. >> yes, it does. but it does not necessarily make a difference in the scenario. >> the same would be true of other plans that in some cases. the same would be true under grutter. the same would be true under the policies of the military academy. >> that is exactly right. the point is, it is not a mechanical factor. now with respect to the implementation, the university's implomentation of its compelling interest, i do think it is
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clear, that although the petitioner said she's challenging implementation, this plan means every requirement of grutter. whether texas had to or not, it did address that concern. there is no quota. pench competes against everyone else. and because of the way the process is structured, they do not monitor the racial. >> the way i take your answer is there -- is this snare joe is not possible, because there are not two
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what will this individual contribute to our campus? race can have a bearing for the reasons i tried to verify earlier on what they can bring to the table.
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>> >> so the correct answer, if there ever are two scenarios that are the same, community service, family's economic status, family's responsibility, single parent home, an sat home, if you had a situation where all those things were absolutely identical, then the person would be admitted on the bounds of race? >> not necessarily. >> before your time runs out, let me ask you another question. there has been a lot of attention of race in the military. can you explain the rotc program? >> sure. it is important for rotc
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programs that commissioned officers have this other plan on top of the other 10%. >> our military effectiveness depends on a pipeline of well qualified candidates from diverse back grounds who are comfortable with leadership in diverse positions. >> your time is about to expire. you have a marginal candidate that wants to go to the university of texas and has interest in rotc. maybe if race is taken into account, the candidate gets in. if it isn't, he doesn't get in.
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>> what is your view on when the university's obtain critical mass? >> i don't agree that critical mass is a number. it would be ill-advised. >> i'm hearing a lot of what it is not, but i would like to know what it is.
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>> i think it could be information about classroom diversity. it could be information about retention and graduation rates. it could be information about specifically the university's context in history. the university had a history of racial incidents of trouble or not. a series of factors. then what the court has to do is satisfy itself that the university has substantiated its conclusion based on that -- based on the information considered.
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i don't think there is a number, and i don't think it would be pursuiter -- pursuant. >> we should probably stop calling it critical mass, then, because mass assumes numbers. >> i agree. >> call it a cloud or something like that.
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>> i think it is important that our universities have the ability to shape environments for the educational experience. as justice kennedy said to the parents involved. that our system comes from different cultures uniting for a more perfect union. that's what the university of texas is trying to do with its admissions policy. >> thank you. mr. -- 10 minutes.
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>> there are a lot of things i want to point out that relate to merits. we do not address the premise of that footnote that she would not have entered under any circumstances. in fact, she was admitted to the summer program. >> limited to injunctionive -- injunctive relief. >> no. it says at any and all -- >> in alvarez it said any and all damages is too speculative. >> and what i'm saying, we never had the opportunity to develop the -- >> who said you can't manufacture standing after the fact. did you ask only for injunctive
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relief in the 100 hours? >> the only specific complaint because of the point in time when it was filed was because of the application fee. >> and you would have paid that no matter what, under any system of admission, you would have paid the same $100? >> you would have paid the fee in return for a fair processing of the application. we think that will be a claim that will be sustained. it is not tested at this point. the second thing is, because of the way the case is bifurcated, in the district court as well, we did not develop the additional damages. we deserve the right to amend. as things have progged. -- progressed -- >> for what, nominal damages? >> no. because what the chief pointed out is there are other types of financial injuries which were not ascertainable. at the time.
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>> there are differences in cost between what she paid at l.s.u. i'm saying these are all reserve questions and they don't go to standing. the court made that clear.
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>> fixed quota means we will, we don't think that's the way grutter was intended. grutter was intended to say this is an area of great caution. using race itself raises all kinds of red flags. before you use race, make a determination whether really your interest in critical mass, that is in the dialogue and energy, the educational interest -- >> you are not suggesting that if every minority student that got into university got into only the physical education part, and in this particular university, that physical education program includes all the star athletes.
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every star athlete in the school happens to be black or hispanic or asian or something else. they have now reached critical mass of 20% that the university in the situation cannot use race in the holistic way that grutter permits? everyone of their students who happens to be minority will end up in the program. do you not think the university should consider it needs a different diversity? >> the factor is a choice. you have a critical mass of students. they choose to major in different things. that is the problem of classroom diversity. what are they not in the small classrooms? why does that happen? you would say that is an aberration. what is causing it? >> aren't they saying the same thing when they say, we're looking at the holistic measure we are looking for the student who is a nuclear
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scientist? >> no. it did not take into account the interests. they don't ask you, are you going to join rotc? they don't ask you, are you going to major in physics? when it comes time, they do it in a way that is premised on academic indexes. the have a two-tiered emission -- admission system. your preference goes to admissions as such. it doesn't go to sorting people out by majors. if i mate say, i think our answer is, when you see that grutter's has been perceived as a green light. go ahead and use race. race is really an abominable kind of sorting out. that unchecked use of race which we think has been spawned by misreading of grutter needs to
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be coraraled. >> is any different from how race is used in our military academies? >> those are two different questions. the harvard plan is a very different world. it is a plan of wholly individualed admissions to establish the platonic ideal of a class. as an educational mission. this is not what is going on here. i will score you individually. but as they keep saying, at the point of admission, i am not admitting people, i'm admitting categories, boxes. that relates to justice scalia's question. i thought the way you formed your question was wholly fair.
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in the way they do their system, you can figure out that two people would have had the same pai score. it allows them to boost be pai score. there are many candidates who'll score the same pai and a new boost some of them. ut says we do not boost all the minorities but we want to boost the ones we like. we want those affluent minorities who we think will improve and argue dialogue. that is contrary indeed to the fact they give points in the same system for socio-economic disadvantage. it is race. it comes to the ultimate question then that chief justice you were asking, where is the end point? if you have nothing to gauge the successful program, because we do not have chris cal mass, we don't know what it is, and we won't say what it is, there is no judicial supervision, and there is no end point to what
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they are doing. there's no in point to what they are doing. what we have said goes back to how much you write it. you can clarify it. you can say it grutter requires you to do this. we said it would be satisfactory. to the extent you have the surviving side by side, there could be enormous confusion. >> you want me to look at the critical mass, look at exactly how it is being done in taxes -- in texas, which has charts to help you see that, and i will then find enough of a difference and i can write some words that can be administered by two or 3000 federal justices as they try to do with programs. that's the point, right? >> i'm saying, if you clarify the needs at the necessity point and you look at some of the other deficiencies and clarify the consideration of reasonably available alternatives a necessity, even to read the weakness of the program to the absence of those factors.
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i think you can fashion a result in this case which may or may not have to, quote, overrule grutter. it is really a matter of what do you want? do you want to clearly restate what it is that allows the use of this odius classification? that's what we're talking about. this is a narrow window. >> once you reach a certain number then you cannot use race anymore. >> you don't want to overrule it, you just want to gut it. >> well. >> you want to tell universities that once you reach a certain number, then you can't use race anymore? >> i don't want to gut it. one can only reach that conclusion if they assume that grutter is an unlimited mandate to use race. that is unacceptable. that is the invasion of abigail fisher's rights to equal protection under the law.
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>> thank, council. -- thank you, counsel. the case is admitted. >> joining us here in washington, the author of " mismatch." how this policy hurt the students it was intended to help. >> abigail fisher claimed way the university reviewed admissions was not fair based on
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race. the aclu filed i brief. -- a brief. that they should be able to include additional factors in addition to test scores. so that it prepares all students for a global environment when -- which they will enter when they leave school. we made technical arguments about the standard of review at issue, but the crux is that we wanted the fifth circuit, and that the university's process was legal to be upheld. >> can you briefly explain how the university deals with issues of race as far as texas is concerned? guest: sure. they look at two issues. they look at the academic performance of a student. let me start by saying they have a unique procedure down there in texas in that there was a state law in texas that was enacted in 1998 that provided for the top
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10% of every graduating senior in texas to be automatically admitted to a university of texas program. that includes the university of texas at austin. university of texas at austin admissions were capped a couple years ago at 80%. that's so that the entire texas entering class isn't composed of people who were in the top 10% of their graduating class. that could be done in a state the size of texas. after that 20%, they look at academic index and they look at other factors in what is called a personal achievement index. in that index, beginning in 2004, they looked at 12 factors, including socio -- economic factors. what language is spoken in the home. whether the student comes from a single parent home. whether the student has
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displayed leadership. their performance on two essays, and race. race is also -- can be considered if the student has identified their race in the application. >> talk a little about the argument in the brief and the process overall at the university of texas and if i think something is wrong with it. guest: we are on the other side of the case. i was briefed by my co-author and me, and in our book we argue that not only are people like abigail fisher's rights violated by the university of texas' racial preference, we think they are bad for the beneficiaries or -- in many cases. the title "mismatch" on the title of our book is basically when you take a student whose
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say s.a.t. scores are not just 50 points below but 3 hundred hn or 400 points below the other classmates, it is not good for the student. the class will go faster and keep deeper than that student is ready for. that student may be better at texas a & m or find themselves struggling and falling behind and getting bad grades, sometimes trouble graduating. it is not good for your intellectual self-confidence to have that happen, and it all happens without warning. nobody tells these affirmative action students before they come, hey, you are not likely to do well here academically. host: so the justices heard the case this week. ultimately what happens?
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>> guest: they heard the case. they will probably decide it in june. based on the arguments, they will probably strike down the affirmative action plan 5-4. the argument kind of confirmed the expectation. the big question is how broad they will write it. whether they will just write a narrow opinion that is limbed to the university of texas and doesn't have an effect on anyone else or much effect on the university of texas after they changed things around a little bit or if they will rit write a broader opinion that requires major reforms in the way this process works nationwide. i hope it will be the latter. i do not think they are going to ban consideration of race and i do not think they should. host: our guests talking about you university of texas and affirmative action.
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if you would like to call, please call in. courtney, before we talk about the results, depending on how the justices come down on this, what does it mean for the affirmative action plans for the university of texas? >> i think i agree with our guest. the argument did not look great for the university of texas. i don't think it will be 5-4. kagan recused herself. because she was solicitor general. i think if the court does strike down the use of race, i'm hoping it will be limbed to the university of texas, because the issue is there is that they have a race control program in the
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top 10% plan. .
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it's not good for that student, the black or hispanic student that has been put in a pretty good environment. this is not going to help. it helps when you take people and you admit them into colleges where they are likely to do well. host: what do you say about putting students in colleges where they will do well? guest: i don't necessarily agree that university of texas is choosing is mung unqualified applicants or that race is the factor that makes people go to college to do poorly. mr. taylor talked about the gap in s.a.t. scores for asian students and black students at the university of texas. we don't know, you know, what is bringing down those scores. i think it is unfortunate there is such a large gap, but maybe the students being admitted with
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super low s.a.t. scores is because they are athletes or they have leadership potential other than race. one of the things interesting to me is that the university should be admitting qualified applicants. mr. taylor asked for more transparancy at the university. regarding the way race is used. we know race cannot be the only factor. race has to be part of a holistic review of the package. therefore i don't believe it is something that will give someone a huge advantage. i think it is something that should be considered. i think these gaps are disturbing.
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hopefully we can address those through better quality education for students entering college. host: let's here from vero beach, florida. independent line. you are always going to have this underclass of people that can't achieve historically.
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guest: as it stands today, it is making equality in america worse. host: some analysts say diversity can be considered without race. "some analysts say diversity can be achieved without considering race in admissions. richard kahlenberg of the left-leaning century foundation said universities in some states
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have had success with hols policies. what do you say about that? >> i don't think it should be considered at the expense of also considering race. inequality manifests itself in many different ways in this country. it manifests in terms of gender, in terms of race, in terms of class, in terms of a number of different issues. the university should be also ensuring that students are prepared for an increasingly global world. and the world is not just separated by class. unfortunately, despite the great strides we have made, and we have made incredible strides in the country with regard to race, class, and gender and all kinds of "isms" we still have i way to go. we live in a society still quite segregated by race, and the university should be allowed to look at those issues in order to ensure pathways of opportunity are open for all students. host: let's get a call from
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sean, hanover, massachusetts, republican line. caller: i could not agree less than what i -- sorry. the lady from alcu is totally wrong. i would like to hope that discrimination would be abolished. i meant to say affirmative action. i'm kind of nervous. i would hope that instead that there would be a law that passed that the colleges cannot ask your race cannot ask your sex. i would also hope that in the future we would come together instead of trying to rip each other apart by race, education in college is a privilege, not a right. you have to pay to get into college. so if you have the qual fantastics to get into college, they should take the highest scorers first. not because you are black, white, chinese, mexican, whatever.
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i think this is why we can't fill the high-tech jobs we have to fill today because people get into college that don't deserve to be there. host: go ahead. guest: i don't think it is discrimination against whites. there are a number of points to consider. whether your parents went to the school. this would benefit white students. whether you have extracurricular activities. whether you did something interesting -- interest interesting, went to africa and dug ditches. those kinds of things can benefit people who are not poor or latino or black.
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there were black and latino students not admitted in the same class she was. i think there is a larger pool that can be offered admissions. invariably, it is not necessarily because race is one of the issues considered among 12 different things considered.
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>> know. i don't think black students should be hard. i think educational opportunities should be ready at the elementary and secondary levels so that the gap is made smaller. >> how did she determined she had a case? >> the fact a transparency. she looked around. she did not get in. she thought she should have gotten in. she looked around and saw students of color who did get in who had lower grades and test scores than she did. she decided that maybe she was the victim of racial discrimination. she certainly was the victim of race being held against her in the admission process. whether she would have gotten in without her persistence really nobody knows.
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that is part of the secrecy of the process. that is one reason why this is so rare. she had to pick a long shot that this lawsuit would get her some more. now it has gotten her to the steps of the supreme court. one thing i would like to agree with is where the rubber meets the road is education. the reason why we have this whole argument is a big gap in the academic qualifications children coming out of first grade and high school. that is where we should be pooling our resources. i want to be clear. i am by no means saying that students of color should not be at the best university. if they are admitted on a similar standards, or slightly different standards than the other students, that's great. the problem is not whether you are a student of color.
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if you are taken into university, you are very much less prepared academically than your classmates -- it is likely to harm you, not hurt you. if you are well qualified, you'll be fine. >> our next caller comes from cleveland, ohio. >> since it is not done out in the open, you do not have any statistics to prove that students that are admitted with an affirmative action program failed. another thing i would like to comment on -- the other program, the other leg of the school, that legacy, what is it called? when you get into college because your parents want their ere?
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>> we will leave it there. >> good questions. although it is very secretive, although there are broad statistics that become public for various reasons, a lot of scholars have spent a lot of time. that is how we know both that the average s.a.t. gaps in most schools between black and whites will be between 204 under points. we know that about half of black students finish in the bottom 20% of the class, if they finish at all. we know that about half of those students finish in the bottom 10% of the class. we know that blacks failed the bar exam at three times the rate that whites do. there are a lot of indications. we know that blacks dropped out of science courses -- they
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dropped out of science courses in droves. we know all of that. as for legacy, we might agree on this. i do not think legacy of admissions are great thing. as she says, some people tend to benefit from that. the best statistics that i have seen that the alumni kids are pretty small. maybe an average jump of 30-40 s.a.t. points. that is a lot different from a four hundred point drop >> where did you glean that information from? >> allot of studies. the ones i mentioned in whoicular come from a bucook, were pro-racial preference.
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it has a wealth of statistical and other information. >> do you want to give some thoughts on this? >> sure, the conclusion that mr. taylor reaches in seeing that these gaps are due to affirmative action is where we disagree. there are some -- some studies that dispute the conclusions he has reached. specifically, there is no evidence that there is a causal link between affirmative action and of these failures. for instance, if african american students are admitted to law school and subsequently failed the bar, we do not know why they fill the bar. we do not know why. whether it was admitted -- they were admitted to law school that is theoretically too difficult for them, or an elite law school, which is the theory that is proffered by mr. taylor, or
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for whatever reason. maybe they were not good at test taking
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the second part of my question, to both of you, how did the diversity rationale become a precedent? younwñ?ñ? have four supreme cout justices who said we need affirmative action to remedy the discrimination to the other justices. it was powell who came up with the diversity rationale. we have been following these remarks as precedent. i would like you to comment on that as well. >> there are a lot of questions there. nñ?ñ?but me emphasize, i am not
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saying african americans do not belong at top universities. it would be better if they were admitted according to the same standards as other students. discriminating against white and asian students who are better qualified is!ññ?ñ?it ⌟ñ?ñ what .
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we cannot use the rationale of past discrimination. to justify using race as a factor in admissions. prior to that it was an issue and it was argued that remedying past instances could be a justification for using race in admissions. that was not the way we were
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going after the opinion. the diversity rationale is somewhat murky. it says the university has the right to have a diverse environment and i think that makes sense that it gives less clarity to universities and to the public has to what they're trying to do when really it came about in order to ensure equal opportunity for people of color and women. it came about in the 1960's when jfk to him and it did -- proh ibited discrimination and they needed steps to ensure that equal opportunity was available for everyone. it is not something that was about diversity. it was about ensuring that past injustice was erased. >> to give our viewers a sense
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of what happened, we will play a little bit of some of the arguments that took place. this was brought up twice today. this is samuel a lead of talking with the university of texas about how issues are determined. i want both of you to listen and respond. >> let's say one of them is another corporate lawyer. they have income that puts them in the top 1% in the country. 3jñ?ñ?
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>> it is a different question. what i heard was what if the parents of the black students are rich and the parents of the white students are not? why does texas want to give a preference over a black student as opposed to a better qualified white studenttñ?ñ?
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you're looking at it as a zero sum game. it provides diversity. it prepares]lñ?ñ? students for f learning in a diverse environment and going on to work in a global environment.
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i do not think a close as any pathways. >> we are almost out of time. does this decision, no matter how it comes down, does it only affect public universities or private universities? >> could affect private universities. the constitution applies to public universities. but a provision of the civil rights act takes the same standards that the constitution applies to public universities and applies itsgñ to private universities. all private universities accept federal money so it ends up pretty much in the same place. i have heard her say that racial preference opens pathways for all students. i wish abby fisher were here. she was discriminated against on
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grounds of her race when she was rejected by the university of texas. i would like to have her explain what pathway that open for her. >> de want to follow on that? >> i agree with mr. taylor regarding private schools and title 6. i do not think mrs. fisher was discriminated against for the simple reason that as i explained earlier, it looks at the index at which race is one of 12 factors. her academic index was too low the year she applied. they never reviewed her personal achievement. there is no way she would have been invented. the fact that race was considered did not harm her. i think the claim that she is entitled to go there because her
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parents went there and the race was one factor that was considered is not true. >> we are out of time. we want to thank our guests for participating. the author of the "mismatched." the both of you, and thank you for the discussion. >> tomorrow, we will preview the town hall-style presidential debate between president obama and mitt romney. our guest is charles hurt. he is followed by a look at the affect of non-citizens. we are joined by professor leonard steinhorn. and later a look at the anniversary of the cuban missile crisis. graham allison joins us from
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boston. "washington journal" is at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> in his weekly address, president obama spoke about the u.s. auto industry and auto sales. the republican address is delivered by an oklahoma republican running for congress. he talks about the challenges faced by his plumbing business. >> hi, everybody. every year around this time car companies start rolling out their new products. it is detroit's chance to show you what they have been working
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on, the latest and greatest. this year is no exception. and they have some good-looking cars. but something is different this time, and it starts with the auto companies themselves. the auto industry was not just struggling. it was flatlining. gm and chrysler were on the verge of collapse. more than 1 million jobs across the country were on the line. not just although jobs, but the jobs of teachers, small- business owners, and everyone who depends on this great american industry. but we refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. we refused to let detroit go bankrupt. and three years later, that that is paying off in a big way. gm is back. ford and chrysler are back. and we are not just making more cars and trucks. we are making better ones. we have raised fuel standards so through the next decade, cars and light trucks will average 55 miles per gallon,
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that means you will only have to fill up every two weeks instead of every week. that is good for your wallet, good for our economy, and good for the environment. the technology that makes it happen will help america stay on the cutting edge for decades to come. just this week, gm announced they planned to hire 1500 workers for a new researchyqñ?ñ? center in michigan to make sure the high-tech cars of tomorrow are designed and built right here in america. i have also signed a new bipartisan trade agreement into law because i want to see more cars on the road in places like south korea imported from detroit and chicago. all of this is something that american people can and should be proud of. it is a reminder that there is nothing we can do. -- can't do. the next time you see one of those brand new 2013 models on tv or on the lot, think how far we have come together. think about the hard work and can-do spirit of the american people. more of those cars and trucks
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are being manufactured by american workers and american companies. it will save you money at the pump. that is what america is all about. we get knocked down, we get back up. thanks and have a good weekend. >> hi, i am markwayne mullin. i met and married my high- school sweetheart here. we run a plumbing company here. a lot of people call me a congressman. i do not want to be a man of the congress. i want to represent the values of my fellow oklahomans. their top priority is job. so is my. family plumbing business, it is yours. my dad was having major health
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problems. he was not able to run the business. the people he trusted ran the company into the ground. it was carrying over half a million dollars in debt and much of that was past due. we now have more than 80 trucks on the road, as oklahoma for largest plumbing company. i am proud of what we have accomplished, especially thinking about how hard it was when we started. many people i meet on the campaign trail have the same challenges. do we really think the country can be turned around? my answer is hands down, yes. if we let small business people like me get to work. i know where i would start. i spend 40 cents of every dollar the company takes in to comply with education's.
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-- with regulations. yes, more than 40 cents. when i first started using that figure, people would say wait. you are talking about taxes, right? >> no. this is just to comply with regulations. it is costing $1.7 trillion per year. this is before obamacare takes effect. is it any wonder the jobs are overseas and so many job- seekers have stopped looking for work? if we are serious about keeping jobs here and bring in jobs home, we need to stop burdening small businesses with excessive regulation. mitt romney gets it. he is supporting small businesses with his jobs plan. ? ñ?ñ? this is what i have to sat
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that keeping enough, mr. president. our economy does not need more regulation. it needs more certainty. when do not need more regulators. we need more representatives to understand what it takes to create jobs. thank you for listening and may god bless you and god bless the united states of america. >> jim jordan is our guest on newsmaker is this weekend. the chairman discusses the 2012 camp,lñ?ñ?aign. and the congressional investigation into a tax on the u.s. consulate in been gauzy. he will also talk about what he wants congress to do and whether to let theéxñ?ñ?ñ bush era tax s expire. sunday after washington journal at 10:00 a.m. eastern and later at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. ÷÷ñ?ñ?>> next, a look at the influences of super pacs in the 2012 election.
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panelists talked about the difference between them and other organizations. disclosure rules, anonymous donors, and the concept of money as free speech. this is just over one hour. >> i will not -- i love that title. dark money rising, it seems like there should be a batman iiñ?ñ?character involved. instead, a lot of people with a lot of money. first i'm going to introduce our panel, starting to my left is melanie sloan. she is a recognized expert on congressional ethics and she served as an assistant u.s. attorney in the district of columbia from 1998-2003. next we have8çñ?ñ? in your times writer. he is a political reporter covering the presidential campaign finance and really
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digging into that. he is also the recipient of a pulitzer prize in 2009. to his left, we have tim parker -- kim barker. she is a recent edward r. murrow press fellow. next, bradley smith. he is one of the foremost experts on campaign finance law and served as commissioner resigning in 2005. welcome to all of you. let me start with the speed around if he should tell the class what to pay attention to
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in campaign finance law, what would you say to them? >> i would tell them when they see all of those commercials on their television screens, they should ignore most of them because they have no idea about the context for the ads and why they are putting them out in most of the things that are said in them are not necessarily true. >> i would say disclosure for tax-exempt groups. >> i think they have to understand something very intricate. >> i would agree with both of those points and bring it back to the idea of whether we want to have anonymous money coming into our political system and taking a look at old cases where you have that influence coming in and what happened.
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>> campaign finance reform is about how the government monitors your political speech. you as voters will ultimately have the say. it is important to pay attention to the issues and what they are saying in that is where the money is. >> there are a few more seats up front if people are still coming in. i want to set a little bit of that to rain. the center of our panel, you would consider yourselves reporters, correct? the edges of the panel, we have people on different sides of campaign finance regulation. g> it is more of a buffer. >> is it fair to say you are an advocate of finance regulation and is it fair to say that you think that overregulation is a problem? just to give you a set of.
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let me start with you because you are part of propublivca. -- propbulica. it has been looking at people who are looking at the ads and able to free the files, that's th4e hashtag. i wonder if you could tell us why you try to reach out to help look at how money is being spent. >> thanks for that because this is going to be on c-span. can everybody hear me? it is an attempt to get a look at campaign finance and what people are actually spending on tv ads in the top 30 markets. what we have is a system where most ants are supposed to be
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reported to the federal election commission. over the summer you get once that come out from groups with names like americans for america. you have seen them. they say, you know, so and so is a bad guy. tell him to stop being a bad guy. we have all seen variations on those. those still not have to be reported. they only have to be reported to the individual tv stations. as of this summer, a lot of these were put on line but they are very cumbersome. what we are trying to do is get people to go in there and go on line and actually look at these and identify how much money is being spent. this is how you can identify some of these outside groups that otherwise come in and go out without anybody knowing they
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are there. i would say it is important for identifying these groups but is also important not just on the presidential campaign. it is almost more important in the races or you have the idea that a little amount of money can come in right before an election during the primary season and completely sway the election and you have no idea who is behind them. >> one of the things you have seen is that the money is evenly matched. maybe you can talk more in terms of the partisan spending. is that correct? >> i had a story in today's paper that noted that outside spending in september in house
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races, nonparty outside spending was evenly matched. the significance of that is that some groups have realized if they come into a race early with a modest amount of money, $1 million or $2 million, you can actually up and a race all by yourself. instead of waiting when most spending traditionally has occurred. expectant that partisan divide to shift in favor of republican starting this month. >> what is the bigger picture in terms of overall fund-raising for an outside money? >> there are more rich
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conservatives who want to spend money on campaigns. it was not always true. it is true in this era in the last four years. one reason could be there is a democrat in the white house. he saw a lot of rebels who wanted to spend money. they use different mechanisms i started covering it this year for the first time in five or six years in the last time i covered it was in the early bush years and i have all of these documents on campaign finance law and there are all completely worthless. when i started, i had to throw all of it away because it changes a lot. it is complicated. but what we are seeing in this era, a lot of money on the right
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and not much on the left. >> you were speaking of brand and something your organization has on its web site is it is the only organization dedicated to protecting first amendment rights. explain what team mean by protecting first amendment rights and some of the things you have done as though an organization? >> they also include groups like beat the league of women voters. we felt there was a great deal of political science and literature that is very differentáññ?ñ? from the money n
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politics. that it does not work the way people think. given an example of one case we have picked up on, the case we have in indiana challenging the law that prohibits automatic calls that people get. people say i hate getting them. the amazing thing is most people listen to them all the way through. they are very much one of the least expensive ways that a low finance candidate can reach large numbers of voters with a message. they have been shown to move voters and the indiana law made no sense in the sense you could bother a person as much as you wanted. you could call them if you had a life-operator on the line. but not if you were a small campaign that needed to rely on
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robocalls. we have taken up many more including a case called speech now that created super pacs, that individuals can make independent expenditures without a mandate. citizens united said you can accept union funds for that. >> does the modern super pac make you happy? >> it does. i think it has been a good thing. we are in our second election cycle. people will complain about the selection that it is too negative and expensive. think back. did you say the same thing in 2008 and 2006? is this campaign that different? we hear more new voices. we find over and over again that
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they actually level the playing field and incumbents fear super pacs. nick made the point that right now they have been favoring republicans, conservatives but i think that is a temporary thing that when the republicans are in power, they will favor the party that is out of the power. you have the predecessors of these things. those were used in 2004 by the democrats, much more so than republicans. i think it benefits candidates and intends to even the playing field. although we will call them outside groups, it is an easy term to use. these are not outside groups. these are groups of american citizens participating in the election. who came up with the idea that
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only the candidates should be speaking in the campaign are they should have some preferred speech pattern? outside groups are what it is all about. that is us and we get to speak as we want to. >> i am sure you are eager to jump in that i want to remind people that your organization, have the parse out the question of money and speech? >> i want to say what brad said it is often not true. it is not new voices and it is very few voices of the very rich people. when you have the group like the american action network, they are funded by a few people. that is the key. we are talking people who give $500,000. this is not the man on the street getting to participate. this is a couple of people. maybe 100 people.
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think about whether you really think they should be bought and paid for by billionaires' and multimillionaire's. that is who is influencing the elections. it is not your joe citizen. those are not the voices you are hearing. >> this is not an academic study. i would want to see more analysis. i covered them in the primary this year. he was the candidate with the biggest super pak who won the primary. it was mitt romney. his donors were traditional republican donors. i would actually say i do not expect there to ever be an open presidential primary by a candidate to does not have a super pac. >> let me go back to melanie,
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because it sounds like we have hit a nerve. it did not take long. >> i want to go back to something nick started with because they are not even the real danger. i like to think of them left the kim -- as the kim kardashian's because they get the most press that they are not dangerous. people can donate anonymously to those organizations. those are where the real power and money is and where the ads are coming out of. the american action network which is run by a former senator and american crossroads run by ckarl rove. they have more money than the super paces and we will not see
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them file tax returns. the election will be over before we have any idea how much money they had and we'll never know who actually put in all of the money. just because we do not know this now mean the people who benefited from those 10 nations will not. politicians and corporations, a large donors, they are expecting a return on their investment. it does not mean day -- they're going to make sure that the people who benefit to know exactly who they gave to and we have no idea what those people will be doing for that money and we will never be able to tie those things together like we can now when we look a campaign contributions and weaken compared than two votes. that will not happen. >> i want to remind to -- remind everyone that you will have an opportunity to write down questions. feel free to do that now.
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do it on a piece of paper. we will be coming around and about 20 minutes to collect them. brad -- >> i want to start with a technical point to bring the audience up to speed. we often refer to super pacs as belonging to mitt romney your president obama. they have to operate independently of the campaign. something that has come about was the single candidate super pac. the campaigns do not play a role in setting these super pacs up. >> yes they do. it is always their top people. >> they do not play any role. of course they do. you do not expect those people to start a -- you expect the
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romney supporters to support a romney super pac. they do not have contact with the campaign. let's go on and look at a couple of points. the real money is not in the c4's. their figures show that super pacs have spent twice as much as c4 groups. c4 groups are a fraction of the spending you are seeing. they will not spend as much as the obama campaign will. that is all groups for all races in the cycle. that is the reality of it. let's talk of that too is funding these. these are ordinary citizens. of course they are not ordinary citizens.
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when foster founded a super pacs, the deck keep ordinary citizens from being heard or make millions, did it help them? because rick santorum was getting creamed. when newt gingrich was supported commented that drowned voices that or did that help people hear about newt gingrich? did more people get to hear his views? and its supporters feel they were drowned out by the spending? >> there were no newt gingrich supporters. that is the point. >> they basically were the only ones keeping them in their race. if they had actual american supporters, they would have been stable to stay in the race longer because they would have had donors. >> we're not talking seriously because we know hundreds of thousands of people, if you say they did not have supporters,
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you're not talking seriously because there are hundreds of thousands of supporters of newt gingrich and rick santorum who voted for them in the primaries. perhaps he believed every buddy is just an ignorant doof but i am not so pessimistic about the american voter. we go back further. we look at jack kemp, steve forbes in 1996. he made spending his own money, made it more possible that bob dole might lose of the other candidates got heard from. back to the last election, mccarthy got his anti-war campaign up and running because a bunch of people gave him $10 million. did that drown people out or make people heard? rñ?ñ?ñ
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you wrote about was that george soros swore he would not donate to super pacs and he did. what precedent is this setting? >> the democrats have said recently be are against outside money but if we are not going to play in the sandbox, we might as well take our toys and go home. they feel like if they do not do it, they will be at a disadvantage. their problem you do not have
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these nonprofits on the democrats' side spending as much on the conservative side. i would return to the point that it is a small percentage of money. in some races, more than half the money is traced back to the groups we do not know whether donors are. that matters a lot. obama will spend almost more than all of these groups. maybe people should turn off their cell phones. on the democrats' side, you are goinghm.a to see the obama camn making up less than that. i would guess that on the conservative side, and you are going to have romney less than
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50% in the outside groups making up more than half, which will give some people more influence. maybe we are fine with that. but it is something that is interesting to talk about. i also think it is interesting you have a lot of money coming into certain races you do not know where it is coming from. >> you may not be able to answer this, but if you can, something i was interested in was the supreme court decided to take another look at affirmative action nine years after its previous decision. the thing citizens united will come up for review before the senate -- do you think citizens united will, for review before the supreme court? expect a lot of change by the next cycle? >> i do not think so. the supreme court has made clear
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where its stance on psittacine united and money in politics. if anything -- on citizens united and money in politics. if anything, i think day recently turned down a challenge on some aspect of citizens and said we really believe this. we are entering in europe where the supreme court does not respect precedent the way it used to. if obama wins and there are more democratic appointed judges, it is easy to imagine -- imagine a decision changing it in some way. but i think they made it very plain this is their belief -- of their belief. they will keep applying it. i do not see any evidence of a reconsideration. >> they rejected a chance to
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revisit some distance united last term from the montana supreme court that gave them an opportunity. they declined to do it. >> just to go back to the beginning premise, middle school students, it does not take a medical student not to understand the state of play. i will go back down, and is it important that citizens understand the state of political funding? you have said there is no revisiting any time soon. obviously people are watching political ads and money is impacting people's vote. is there a mechanism by which individual citizens can influence the funding
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environment other than giving money? just giving money? that is it? >> money is one kind of speech. i was asked a similar question at a different gathering and i said i would love president obama to show there is a second model for politicians to build a base of small donors. it can be very robust. even in the world of unlimited spending. >> any other thoughts on how much impact citizens have? >> we are in luck, the five of us, no because we are an influential group of citizens. we have influence without giving money. money is one of many forms of influence that affects us. i used to meet a lot with high school groups that come into
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washington in the summer. they get a couple of hundred kids and i remember one year they were creating a debate topic and it was on campaign finance. i looked at the resolution that was being introduced and the students thought the regulation would actually create more regulation than the current system hand. actually created less)ññ?ñ?
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campaign trunk -- contribution. they would do it because they believed that was the right thing and it would be spending fund-raising, which is what they do now. >> what do we know about donors in terms of outside money? there are a lot of people of
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wealth who are making big contributions. do we know anything about the geographic distribution? >> texas. >> there is a heavy weighting? >> it is where the billionaires are. if they are in taxes, they have a lot of money from new york, people used to be with bain capital.
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